By February, I felt we had this homeschooling thing down! Always more to learn but we had the routines, the supplies, the stamina, and the resources to be successful in our home classroom and otherwise.
From time to time, to get out of dodge, field trips came in handy to shake things up a bit. In Burlington, Vermont, there is a fantastic science museum for children right on the waterfront called Echo. Taken right from their webpage, the museum seeks to “inspire and engage families in the joy of scientific discovery, wonder of nature, and care of Lake Champlain.”
4-H had many events that our third grader participated in from creating a diagram that was horse-related to making stick horses. She went even further and “roped” her sister into pretending the snow banks were horses!
As always, there was snow to be moved and played with. Our fifth grader’s skills with the tractor improved by the minute, and I am impressed with the smoothness and care of his operation for someone his age. Since this is what he wants to do for a living (and is still true to this day, and he’s a freshman in high school), he would practice with it as much as he could. This is also true for the snowmobiles. I think it is so important for kids to gain skills with equipment when they are developmentally ready and always with supervision. I did not grow up using machinery like four wheelers and snowmobiles and I am not confident with driving them. Our kids have been exposed to things like this since birth and have been taught to be respectful and safe. Please note the snowmobile picture below was staged to get a pic of all three of them. They did not ride alone when they were this young.
Writing studies amped up during this portion of the school year. Our fifth grader’s history lessons were also writing opportunities. Drafting is a critical piece, as you can see from his notebook. Daily journaling continued and cracked us up in the process. Our third grader obviously was impressed with her bodily gas skills!
The next part of winter can be hard for all of us (especially me!). Many times, I’ve stood in this same doorway wondering when spring, sun and warmth will arrive. Time felt like it was going by quickly with us being home together, so I didn’t have to wait long. My nature-loving baby also seemed to wonder and would wait at the door patiently until we could go out and play.